George Mann Books
PO Box 22, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1AH
25 March 1991
Dear Storypaper Collector
As you no doubt already know, Bill Howard Baker, Founder and
Principal Shareholder of Howard Baker Press and The Greyfriars
Press died suddenly at his home and workplace in Wimbledon on
Wednesday, February 13th.
The other shareholders have decided that they do not wish to continue
the companies, and these have ceased trading whilst possible
purchasers are sought. But it has already become plain that would-be
purchasers are not interested in continuing the companies either, but
merely in scavenging off the substantial book stock. It therefore
seems clear that the great adventure of reprinting every issue of The
Magnet in faithful facsimile on which Bill Baker embarked in 1969
ended tragically incomplete when he suddenly died.
For the best part of the previous year he had been trying to 'plug
the gap' and find suitable original copies from which the missing
issues to complete the entire run of Magnets could be reproduced.
Unhappily, those Collectors who had the missing issues and were
approached were unwilling to loan them for photography, and the
Bodleian Library (which also has the missing issues) offered
photographic copies at an unbelievably high price, which Howard Baker
Press simply could not afford.
My own association with Bill Howard Baker began in 1953. I was his
partner in Howard Baker Publishers Ltd, which produced the first
Magnet facsimile volumes and I have been Consultant to his Companies
for the last twenty years. For the last ten, my own company has
warehoused and distributed the 'singles' from Maidstone, which is why
I am now writing to make you a special offer. The single issue stock
is too 'bitty', six of this and two of that and four of the
other to be of any interest to the corporate vultures now
gathering round the substantial bookstock. So we are undertaking to
offer the remaining singles at heavily discounted prices to everyone
who has ever shown an interest in them.
These are unique items. No-one is ever likely to reprint these single
issues in faithful facsimile ever again. But, because of your past
support, you are being offered an opportunity to obtain copies at
what in many cases is less than production cost.
We are enclosing a copy of the last stocklist (Stocklist No. 7) and
an Order Form. Please read the Order Form carefully. Then respond
quickly, please, offering PLENTY OF ALTERNATIVES.